News / Africa

Zambia Opposition Demands Inquiry into Violent Attacks

Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 30, 2012.
Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 30, 2012.
Peter Clottey
Zambian opposition parties are calling for an independent investigation into violence allegedly carried out by a militia group affiliated with President Michael Sata’s ruling Patriotic Front (PF).

“We are making a demand on the police to be professional, investigate what is going on and let us know whether this government wants to govern by violence, so that we can make up our minds on how to deal with such type of a government, “ said Nevers Mumba, leader of the main opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).

Mumba says there is need for President Sata to address the growing attacks on opposition leaders and supporters allegedly carried out by ruling party supporters.  He also called for Mr. Sata to strongly condemn the violence.

“The role of that militia is to deal with the opposition leaders and supporters who oppose the policies of this government, and violence is what the militia is going to use.  When this issue came up we thought it was a [fake] story, but it has now proven to be true,” continued Mumba, “my supporters were beaten and some ended up in hospitals, but the police have done nothing about it, even when we gave them proof.”

Mumba says Mr. Sata will be shirking his constitutional responsibility to protect life and property if he fails to ensure the safety of his opponents.

His comments came after a Roman Catholic priest, Father Frank Bwalya, the leader of the newly registered Alliance for Better Zambia party was attacked last week at a local radio station.  Bwalya's younger brother was beaten after the assailants poured several packets of a locally brewed beer called Shake-Shake on the Catholic priest.

Bwalya says Mr. Sata is to blame for the ongoing violence.

“This governance is just bad.  It has gone to the dogs.  I am in high spirits, I am confident and if they want to kill me I will not be the first one to be killed.  The one I follow, Jesus Christ, was killed,” Bwalya said.

But a PF youth secretary, Chanda Kabwe, denied father Bwalya’s attackers were members of the ruling party.

“We condemn what happened at [the radio station], that was extremely unacceptable, but Bwalya should not drag the PF in this issue.  We do not allow any citizen to be attacked by anyone.  That violence should not be linked to the PF,” said Kabwe.

Officials of the Commonwealth Secretariat were recently in Zambia to assess the political situation, after opposition parties petitioned the organization about human-rights abuses in the southern African country.

Mumba says the MMD party is pleased with the speed with which the Commonwealth Secretariat is working on their petition.

“We gave them an updated position that nothing has improved because now we have this militia that is terrorizing members of the opposition and that we are demanding for dialogue with the government so that we can take our country back to normalcy and to a democratic state where we can debate,” said Mumba.
Clottey interview with Nevers Mumba, opposition MMD leader
Clottey interview with Nevers Mumba, opposition MMD leaderi
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Video Egyptian Journalists Call for Freedom of Press

Despite release of al-Jazeera journalists and others, Egyptian Journalist Syndicate says some remain imprisoned More

Turkey Survey Indicates Traditional Distrusts, Shift to the West

Comprehensive public opinion survey also found a large majority of those interviewed distrust all countries other than country’s neighbor, Azerbaijan More

Pakistan Court Upholds Death Sentence in Blasphemy Killing

Highest court upholds sentence of Mumtaz Qadri convicted of 2011 killing a provincial governor for criticizing country’s controversial blasphemy law More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Music Brings Generations Together

When musicians over the age of 50 headline a rock concert, you expect to see baby boomer fans in the audience. Boomer rock stars have boomer fans. Millennial rock stars have millennial fans. But this isn’t always the case. Take the Lockn’ Music festival which took place in mid-September in rural Arrington, Virginia. Here, Jacquelyn de Phillips discovered two generations of people who are considered quite different in the outside world, spending 4 days together in music-loving harmony.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs